Social influence and social change

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  • Created by: kateida0
  • Created on: 14-05-18 23:28


The special role of minority influence-

minority influence is a powerful force for innovation and social change e.g. the civil rights movement in the USA:

  • Drawing attention: 1950's America was segregated and civil rights marches drew attention to the situation by providing social proof of the problem
  • Consistency: people took part in the marches on a large scale and although they were the minority of the population, they displayed consistency of message and intent
  • Deeper processing: this attention meant that many people who had accepted the status quo began thinking about the unjustness of it
  • Augmentation principle: (if a person performs an action where there are known constraints, their motive for acting must be stronger) freedom riders were mixed racial groups who got on buses in the south to challenge seperate seating for black people, many were beaten and suffered mob violence
  • Snowball effect: (a process that starts from an initial state of small signifigance and increasingly becomes larger) civil rights activists such as MLK gradually got the attention of the US government, in 1964 the civil rights act was passed - a change from minority to majority support for civil rights
  • Social cryptomnesia: (when social change occurs, the new attitude becomes an integral part of the society's culture, and the source of the minority influence that led to it is often forgotten

Lessons from conformity research-

normative social influence can lead to social change by drawing attention to what the majority is doing e.g. reducing litter by printing normative messages on bins such…


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